Local News

Leading Off (8/25/21)

Dallas police chief downplays data loss blunder, a developer gets prison term for council bribe, and COVID surge expected to continue for two or more weeks.

Dallas Police Chief Attempts to Soften Blow of Data Loss Blunder. In an interview yesterday, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said that the massive trove of accidentally deleted case information “more likely than not” did not include investigations related to violent crimes like rape or murder. Considering this thing happened back in April and elected officials were only informed months later, I’d say DPD isn’t the most trustworthy source of information about the blunder — but we’ll see. The claim that the lost data didn’t include violent crime was also news to District Attorney John Creuzot, who first brought the fiasco to public attention when he learned of the data loss earlier this month. According to the DMN, the lost data is equivalent to “about 2,500 hours of HD video or about 2 million photos or 50 million pages of Microsoft Word documents.”

Dallas Developer Sentenced to Year in Prison Over Council Bribe. Developer Devin Hall paid former Councilwoman Carolyn Davis at least $8,000 between 2013 and 2015 to help secure $650,000 in subsidies for his Fair Park area housing project after Davis insisted he pay her for her support. Hall pleaded guilty and told the judge that he initially resisted Davis’ request for bribe money but then relented, passing installment payments of $750 or $1,000 through an intermediary and promising to give Davis a consulting job after she was off council. “Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcus Busch said he was ‘saddened’ to see how little money it takes to corrupt someone,” the DMN reports. Davis died in a car accident in 2019.

COVID Hospitalizations Expected to Continue to Rise. North Texas hospitals are operating at 92 percent capacity, and there are only about 70 free ICU beds in the region. Health experts say the delta variant surge is expected to continue for another two or three weeks. Rural North Texas counties are facing tighter ICU bed shortages. The delta variant is hitting kids harder than the initial COVID strain, and that is starting to wreck the opening of high school football season. Allen High School’s new football coach died after contracting COVID. He was not vaccinated. Jerry Jones is now stumping for the vaccine as up to five Cowboys players may be added to the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list. And in a Dallas court, the governor continues his fight for Big State Government control over the freedom of local governments to issue health safety protocols.

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